4 Jun

Three Lessons From Dove About Brand Association

By Jimmy Caccamo


Many of you know of Dove’s most recent advertising ingenuity. The Dove Real Beauty “Sketches” clip (links copied below) has hit another homerun. The clip has 114 million hits in 25 languages stretching to 33 Dove Youtube channels. Does this ad reinforce product loyalty? Does it convert non-Dove brand users to Dove? These are important questions to ask.

With any brand, today’s world thrives for brand association more than ever. Dove is a perfect example of this. So let’s move to a bigger question: what aspect of the brand must you change in order to gain brand association?

Dove did not change its brand image visually, but instead tweaked its brand in order to instill a different kind of feeling into consumers. Most advertising I have viewed has exemplified all different kinds of models, both male and female, that have unrealistic, digitalized photos that encourage unreachable perfection. With Dove took another route. Instead of trying to convince the consumer to change, they encouraged the consumer to stay the way they are. They encouraged beauty that was already there and not beauty that does not exist.

I believe in today’s world, marketers have a responsibility to instill proper values, and send a positive and true message to their consumers. There are countless numbers of brands striving for a chunk of the consumer market, and being able to build relationships and associations with these consumers is the most important aspect of today’s marketing world.  While I have heard mixed opinions about the true intentions of the Dove Real Beauty “Sketches” clip, and have seen a number of parodies mocking the message being sent, I believe brands are trying to create trust with their niche consumer. In my opinion Dove has done just that.

So how can your company implement Dove’s strategy? Here are three tactics:

  1. Understand your consumer and their emotions. When you build relationships with individual people you normally compliment them on something they have done. Why not apply this to a larger scale?
  2. Know you will have critics no matter what campaign you create and implement. The difference between the successful campaigns and unsuccessful campaigns is whether or not that message is a true, honest message your company stand behind no matter what, and appeals to your target market.
  3. Building a story, consumers can relate to is a crucial element when differentiating your brand.
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